Larry Craig. Mark Sanford. Ted Haggard. Traditionally, the people who are loudest in condemning the choices of others are trying to drown out their own bad behavior. Today, Maxine Waters, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, one who in the past few years has distinguished herself by being especially combative with representatives of the banking industry, was charged by the House Ethics Committee with improperly steering $12 million in federal funding ... to a bank.
Specifically, to a Boston-based bank, OneUnited, on whose board her husband sat. According to the report, at the onset of the financial crisis, Waters requested a meeting with then–Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
At that meeting and in follow-up conversations, the report determined that "the discussion centered on a single bank - OneUnited," where Waters' husband was a board member from 2004 to 2008. According to her 2008 financial disclosure forms, Waters' husband owned two investments in OneUnited valued between $500,000 and $1 million.
When asked by the panel how often she called cabinet-level officials such as Paulson, Waters replied, "You don't use your chits for nothing. You call when there is an important issue."
According to the report, Waters told an unidentified congressman that she knew she should say no to the "OneUnited people" who were coming to her for help. "Stay out of it," the congressman told her, instructing her on several occasions not to get involved in the matter.
Shortly after the meeting, the Massachusetts bank received a $12 million in taxpayer aid from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
Is nothing sacred? Soon, we'll learn that Matt Taibbi is carrying on a secret poker relationship with Lloyd Blankfein.